Network Topologies How Networking Devices Connects

Network Topologies – Network is an interconnection of computers, workstations and peripherals. It facilitates the transfer of information and sharing of resources between a numbers of users. The topology of a network refers to the arrangement of different devices of the network.

Types of Network Topologies

Network Topology is the schematic description of a network arrangement, connecting various nodes(sender and receiver) through lines of connection.

BUS Topology

Bus topology is a network type in where every computer and network device is connected to single cable.
Bus topology in computer networks

Features of Bus Topology

  • It transmits data only in one direction.
  • Every device is connected to a single cable

Advantages of Bus Topology

  • It is cost effectively
  • Cable required is least compared to other network topology.
  • Used in small networks.
  • It is easy to understand.
  • Easy to expand joining two cables together.

Disadvantages of Bus Topology

  • Cables fails then whole network fails.
  • If network traffic is heavy or nodes are more the performance of the network decreases.
  • Cable has a limited length.
  • It is slower than the ring topology.

RING Topology

It is called ring topology because it forms a ring as each computer is connected to another computer, with the last one connected to the first. Exactly two neighbours for each device.

Ring topology in computer networks

Features of Ring Topology

  • A number of repeaters are used and the transmission is unidirectional.
  • Date is transferred in a sequential manner that is bit by bit.

Advantages of Ring Topology

  • Transmitting network is not affected by high traffic or by adding more nodes, as only the nodes having tokens can transmit data.
  • Cheap to install and expand

Disadvantages of Ring Topology

  • Troubleshooting is difficult in ring topology.
  • Adding or deleting the computers disturbs the network activity.
  • Failure of one computer disturbs the whole network.

STAR Topology

In this type of topology all the computers are connected to a single hub through a cable. This hub is the central node and all others nodes are connected to the central node.

Star topology in computer networks

Features of Star Topology

  • Every node has its own dedicated connection to the hub.
  • Acts as a repeater for data flow.
  • Can be used with twisted pair, Optical Fibre or coaxial cable.

Advantages of Star Topology

  • Fast performance with few nodes and low network traffic.
  • Hub can be upgraded easily.
  • Easy to troubleshoot.
  • Easy to setup and modify.
  • Only that node is affected which has failed rest of the nodes can work smoothly.

Disadvantages of Star Topology

  • Cost of installation is high.
  • Expensive to use.
  • If the hub is affected then the whole network is stopped because all the nodes depend on the hub.
  • Performance is based on the hub that is it depends on its capacity

MESH Topology

It is a point-to-point connection to other nodes or devices. Traffic is carried only between two devices or nodes to which it is connected. Mesh has n (n-2)/2 physical channels to link devices.

Mesh topology in computer networks
Types of Mesh Topology

Partial Mesh Topology : In this topology some of the systems are connected in the same fashion as mesh topology but some devices are only connected to two or three devices.
Full Mesh Topology : Each and every nodes or devices are connected to each other.

Features of Mesh Topology

  • Fully connected.
  • Robust.
  • Not flexible.

Advantages of Mesh Topology

  • Each connection can carry its own data load.
  • It is robust.
  • Fault is diagnosed easily.
  • Provides security and privacy.

Disadvantages of Mesh Topology

  • Installation and configuration is difficult.
  • Cabling cost is more.
  • Bulk wiring is required.

TREE Topology

It has a root node and all other nodes are connected to it forming a hierarchy. It is also called hierarchical topology. It should at least have three levels to the hierarchy.

Tree topology in computer networks

Features of Tree Topology

  • Ideal if workstations are located in groups.
  • Used in Wide Area Network.

Advantages of Tree Topology

  • Extension of bus and star topologies.
  • Expansion of nodes is possible and easy.
  • Easily managed and maintained.
  • Error detection is easily done.

Disadvantages of Tree Topology

  • Heavily cabled.
  • Costly.
  • If more nodes are added maintenance is difficult.
  • Central hub fails, network fails.

HYBRID Topology

It is two different types of topologies which is a mixture of two or more topologies. For example if in an office in one department ring topology is used and in another star topology is used, connecting these topologies will result in Hybrid Topology (ring topology and star topology).

Features of Hybrid Topology

  • It is a combination of two or more network topologies
  • Inherits the advantages and disadvantages of the network topologies included

Advantages of Hybrid Topology

  • Reliable as Error detecting and trouble shooting is easy.
  • Effective.
  • Scalable as size can be increased easily.
  • Flexible.

Disadvantages of Hybrid Topology

  • Complex in design.
  • Costly.

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